Deciding to Build a VA App

 

Should your idea become a VA App? Would your App be helpful for Veterans, Caregivers or VA staff? Do you need help building the App? Would your App access VA’s network? Review this section to help answer these questions.

What is a VA App?

A VA App is any mobile or web-based App that has passed all necessary VA testing and review to ensure that it meets all Federal and VA requirements for safety, security and efficiency. Only tested and approved Apps can display VA’s Mobile App logo or appear as a VA App in App stores.

What Apps that must be VA Apps?

Any App that accesses a VA network in any way must be a VA App and must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure that it meets VA software standards for safety, security and quality. The extent of the review depends on how the App interacts with a VA network and VA data. VA assigns an App to a risk category that determines which of the Compliance Body subject matter experts review the App:

Category 1 - Very Low: Does not utilize VA resources

Category 2 - Low: Read only access to VA resources

Category 3 - Medium: Write access to VA or external resources

Category 4 - High: Read or write access to VA or externally sensitive resources

VA re-evaluates an App at each stage in its development life cycle to ensure its risk has not changed.

Advantages of VA Apps

Even if your App does not access a VA network, there are still advantages to pursuing VA approval:

  • An approved VA App is eligible to be deployed internally within VA.
  • A VA App appears in VA's App Store.
  • VA provides extensive quality feedback through its compliance reviews.
  • VA provides Deployment, Training, Sustainment and Help Desk support.

If You are Already Building an App

If you have already developed or are developing an App, it still has to comply with VA standards before you can deploy it as a VA App. You must upload your code to VA’s Mobile App Environment (MAE) for testing and release. You may have to revise the functionality to meet VA standards, and you may have to submit the necessary documents. The best approach is to review and follow VA’s Mobile App processes and then submit a Work Request using the Request to Certify Existing App Web Form. The Web and Mobile Solutions (WMS) team screens your Request and can help you determine the necessary work to meet VA approval.